Weekly Writing Challenge #30 – Balloon Heist

Prompt – Write about purple glasses. Black hair. Polka dot shoes.

Photo by Padli Pradana on Pexels.com

“Start from the beginning, what happened?”

“It was the darnedest thing. This guy walks into store. He looked funny.”

“What do you mean, funny?”

“Well, the first thing I noticed is that his shoes made a slapping sound. That’s because he was wearing those big clown shoes.”

“Clown shoes? What color where they?”

“Well, they were red with white polka dots. I They were so big, I couldn’t help but think that they would be hard to walk wearing them.”

“What else did you notice about him? What was he wearing?”

“Look, I’m sure everyone else has already told you what he looked like.”

“Yes, but I want to be sure about all the details, so go ahead and tell me everything about how he looked. Besides that, you were the closest to the guy.”

“Okay, he had on these big purple glasses. You know, the ones you get at a carnival or novelty store. He also had what looked like a wig.”

“Wait? A wig? Are you sure?”

“Yeah, it was definitely a wig. I would say it was a Cher wig. You know, black hair that was way too straight and it came down to his knees.”

“Interesting. Go on”

“Well, he was carrying a bunch of balloons.”

“In his right hand or left?”

“Definitely his left hand. Then he stopped in front of me and pulled out a toy gun.”

“Did you know it was a toy gun immediately?”

“Oh yeah, not a doubt. It was bright orange and yellow. He pointed it right at me and pulled the trigger. There was a light pop and a flag came out with the words ‘Bang’ on it.”

“Then what happened?”

“I figured it was a practical joke and I started laughing and looking around to see who had paid this guy to do this silly stunt.”

“When did you know it wasn’t a joke?”

“Well, he pulled out another gun…”

“With his right or left hand?”

“It was his left hand for sure.”

“Wait, wasn’t he carrying balloons with his left hand?”

“Yes, but when he pulled the trigger on the toy gun, he let the balloons go and they floated up to the ceiling. See up there?”

“Yes, I see them. What did he do with the toy gun?”

“Hmm, I don’t know. One moment it was in his hand, the next it disappeared. Anyways, with the other gun, he shot the two Brinks guards that were collecting the days receipts.”

“Was the gunshots loud?”

“No, they were like an airsoft pistol. The guards slapped their necks and then went down. I could see darts sticking out. Are they okay?”

“Yes, they were apparently knocked out by tranquilizer darts.”

“Well, that’s good to know. I was worried about them.”

“They are already awake and the EMT’s are checking them out. So what did he do next?”

“Well, this is what made this whole thing surreal. He put his left finger to his lips like he was telling me to be quiet and then…”

“Which hand did he use?”

“That’s what made it strange, he used his left hand again. I don’t know what happened to the gun. I mean, he could have put it back into his coat. It was a long trench coat. Dark brown, I think.”

“That is strange. Keep going.”

“Well, he picks up a bag of cash from the one guard and then walks out almost in a saunter with his shoes slapping the whole way.”

“What did you do then?”

“Quite frankly, I was frozen in shock. I couldn’t believe all that had happened. Have you guys caught this guy yet?’

“Um, no unfortunately. But we are getting closer each time.”

“Wait? He’s done this before? Why hasn’t there been any news about it?”

“Quite simply, this is the fourth place he’s hit today. I’m sure we’ll get a break pretty soon.”

“Detective! Detective! They spotted him over at the Avenues Mall, looks like he’s hit another place already.”

“Damn it. Um, thank you ma’am. If you can think of anything else, let one of the patrol guys know.”

“Sure, okay. I’m not sure who are the bigger clowns here, that guy or you cops.”

Want to be part of the Weekly Writing Challenge? Using the prompt above, write your story and publish it with a link to this story. Make sure you tag it either md-wwc or #md-wwc

Weekly Writing Challenge #29 – The Harvest

Prompt – Write a story about something weird that happened on a full moon.

Full Moon (201507310004HQ) by NASA HQ PHOTO is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

I remember it vividly. The first full moon of the fall. Or as the early settlers in West Texas used to call it, the Comanche Moon. That signaled a time for the Comanche warriors to raid white settlements killing, raping and capturing anyone they came across.

Nowadays, it is a peaceful moon. For the farmers, it is called a Harvest Moon as you can keep working the fields well into the night just by the glow of the moon. I was baling alfalfa for the unheard of ninth time this season. The barn was bursting with alfalfa bales to feed the horses around town. The weather had been perfect all summer long, raining at the right moments between cuttings.

I bale at night, so the humidity packs the alfalfa bales tighter as the baler behind my tractor gathered up the alfalfa. Ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-thunk went the baler. A comforting rhythm during these long hours in the field. With the moon so bright, I turned off the lights of the tractor. Times like these are rare and to be treasured. A familiar swoosh went by my head as our barn owl hunted rabbits being flushed out by my tractor.

As I reached the end of the field and turned around to follow the next line of alfalfa, a strange thing happened. The barn owl, which I had only glimpsed before, landed on the front end of the tractor. It’s wingspan was at least six feet. But once perched on the tractor, the wings folded up so neatly, you would swear they were only a foot in length.

I couldn’t help but smile. No one would believe me, but that was okay, I knew in my heart I was witnessing something special. Half-way back toward the barn and the owl gracefully spread it’s wings and with a couple of flaps took off into the night. I settled back into the rhythm of driving the tractor on my lonely vigil up and down the field.

After making my regular turn by the barn, I headed off toward the far end of the field. Half-way there, I saw something weird. Maybe the moonlight was playing tricks on my eyes? Seemed there were men on horses at the far end. It could be the fenceposts causing this illusion, but the horses were very near each other. I must be getting tired and seeing things. Perhaps I should turn my lights back on.

I decided not too, as the sight of the horses mesmerized me. Nearing the end of the field, I saw that the men on the horses looked to be wearing Indian clothes. I pulled the throttle back on the tractor and shifted into neutral. I kept shaking my head and blinking my eyes furiously, but the weird sight didn’t go away. Am I losing my mind?

I reached down and cut the engine of the tractor. Silence fell. I could then hear the nickering and pawing of the ground by the horses. This was no illusion! This was real! The Indians as one lifted rifles and pointed them directly at me. I knew then the dreaded Comanche had come to kill me.

Resigned to my fate, I closed my eyes awaiting the blasting of bullets to tear into my body. Then my cell phone started ringing. I looked down and grabbed it from my front pocket and saw my wife was calling me. As I lifted it to my ear to answer, the Indians vanished.

“You okay? Why did you stop the tractor?”

“Um, I thought I saw something weird.”

“Like what? I’ve been watching you with the binoculars and I didn’t see anything.”

“It’s nothing, I must be tired. I only have about an hour of baling to do. I’ll be fine.”

To this day, I don’t know if the Indians were real or a figment of my imagination. Not wanting to find out for sure, I never ever baled alfalfa during a Harvest Moon for the rest of my life.

The Recon Job

Harry walked into the crime boss’s office and plopped a canvas bag on his desk.

“What’s this?”

“That is a bank bag,” said Harry.

“I can see that, but you were supposed to do a recon job for me, not bring me a bank bag. What happened?”

“Well, I didn’t get the recon job done.”

“Why not?” exclaimed the crime boss.

“May I sit?”

The crime boss nodded and Harry sat down on a chair facing the desk.

Harry sighed, “I went to do the recon job as you asked. I had left early so I would have plenty of time. But as I was heading there, I came upon a Mexican restaurant serving Jalisco style food. I really like Jalisco so I stopped for lunch and had a wonderful meal.”

“What’s that got to do with the job?”

Harry pulled out a cigar, “May I? It’s Cuban.”

The boss shook his head, “I don’t like the smell of cigars.”

Harry put the cigar back into his front pocket, “After I left the restaurant, still having plenty of time to get to the recon site, I felt a rumble in my stomach which quickly moved down to my bowels. Thinking it was gas, I lifted my right cheek. Unfortunately, it wasn’t gas. I sharted myself.”

The boss looked confused, “Sharted? What the hell is that?”

Harry hung his head and said, “Well, a shart is when you go to pass gas and more than a fart comes out.”

The boss laughed and indicated for Harry to continue.

“I quickly pulled to the side of the road. It was a back road, so no one else was around. As my stomach was still rumbling, I leapt out of the car and ran twenty feet into a field by the road. I barely got my pants off before my bowels erupted.”

The boss steepled his hands below his chin.

Harry continued, “Then I went to the trunk of my car and pulled out a towel and a shovel. I always believe in being prepared, but I hadn’t thought of bringing a spare pair of pants. I used the towel to clean myself off.”

“That is an image I’d rather not picture. What’s with the shovel?”

“Well, there was no way I was going to put my pants and the towel back into the car. I didn’t want to litter either, so the shovel was to dig a hole to bury them and the mess I made in the field. There I am, digging away in the field by the road, naked from the waist down when I heard a thunk.”

“A thunk?” the boss leaned forward glancing at the bank bag.

“A thunk, then as I continued to dig, more thunks until I unearthed a old wooden box. I lifted the box and it crumbled in my hands. But there was that bank bag inside.”

“This bank bag?”

“Yes. I peeked inside and saw it was filled with money. I took three of the hundred dollar bills to buy a new towel and new pants. Also to get my car thoroughly clean inside and out. Since I was supposed to be doing a job for you, I figure that the money is yours. I don’t know why someone buried it. Maybe they were dumb and forgot about it.”

“I’m disappointed you didn’t do the recon job, but I do believe you have redeemed yourself by bringing me this bag. Consider your debt to me paid in full.”

“Thank you so very much!”

The boss opened the bag and dumped the money on his desk, Bundles of hundreds and fifties spread all over his desk. The boss grinned widely. Then he picked up one bundle with a curious look.

“This is different, I wonder why…”

BANG! The dye pack hidden in the bundle exploded with purple dye. The dye went everywhere. All over the money, on the boss and also the wall behind him. The boss froze in shock.

Harry quietly said under his breath, “I guess the bank robbers weren’t as dumb as I thought,” as he slunk out of the room.

All stories of Harry Gruen are now linked on the Storylines page if you wish to read them all.

Weekly Writing Challenge #26 – The Flight

Prompt – Set your story in an airport, as someone rushes for a flight.

Photo by Riccardo on Pexels.com

Sigh, the flight is delayed once again. Despondently, I walk back over to my seat near the boarding gate. The gate attendant said it would be at least an hour before she could call for boarding. The groans of the passengers waiting were audible. Soon, the noise grew as everyone snatched up their cell phones to call their loved ones or boss. A few stayed and yelled at the gate attendant until security stepped near.

Eventually, the passengers settled down. Most sat with their head bowed. One would think they were praying for the Airline Gods to speed up the boarding call. Alas, they were all engaged in their smartphones and tablets. Oblivious to everything around them.

When I had retired a few years back, I had given up wearing a watch or having a smartphone. I had a basic flip-phone that I could make calls if I needed to. I considered calling my son across the country to let her know I would be delayed, but as tuned into technology as he is, he probably knew before we did that the flight would be delayed.

Instead, I occupied my time by people watching. A young couple, dressed affluently, sat close to each other, shoulders touching, with their heads leaning towards each other. A young mother, clearly exasperated with two young fidgeting children, while their dad paced back and forth talking on his cellphone.

Not to mention all the people who looked like they were talking to themselves until you noticed a little device in their ear. They always confused me when it looked like they were staring at you and talking. Most times, I initially thought they were talking to me. Sometimes I yearn for the days before the internet.

Suddenly, I sense a disturbance. Looking down the concourse, there is a man and a woman running through the airport. I don’t see security rushing after them, so I assume they think they are late for the flight. I imagine they will feel relief that the flight is delayed. I take a second look and I’m surprised that the man is wearing a blue uniform. Could it be our pilot?

The woman running next to him looks familiar, like I should know her. As they get closer, I see it is my wayward daughter. My mouth opens in shock. The pair slow as they get closer and then the man in the uniform turns to my daughter and gives her a big hug and a kiss. He turns to the gate attendant gives a wave.

By this time, everyone’s eyes are on the pair. The gate attendant announces we can now board the flight. I smile and think about letting my daughter know I’m here. I shake my head and decide not to. I don’t want to embarrass her. Even though I know she is the reason, why our flight is delayed. The beaming smile on her face warms my heart. I thought she would never find someone to love.

Want to be part of the Weekly Writing Challenge? Using the prompt above, write your story and publish it with a link to this story. Make sure you tag it either md-wwc or #md-wwc

Weekly Writing Challenge #25 – The Haunting

Prompt – Write about a place where two rivers meet

There is a place, a special place where two rivers meet. This point is not like other meeting points of rivers. The rivers are two distinct types. One is crystal clear, the other is brown from all the sediment. Where they meet the mixing is a slow process.

This isn’t what makes this place special. An ancient spirit haunts the land between the two rivers. Legend has it that there is only one night in the year when the spirit comes out to haunt whoever dares to camp at the meeting point. It is never the same day each year.

I’ve scoured the internet and books on this meeting place. Tremendous amount of rumors abound, but no one ever agrees on how the haunting takes place. The only common thread is that it happens during October. I think it is about time to debunk this fable. Planning took most of the summer, but I’m ready to camp out until I’m haunted or the end of October comes.

I’ve set up webcams around the campsite. Paid for an entire month of Livestream. I’ve plenty of provisions and a comfortable tent and hammock. The webcams will shift to night vision every evening. Now comes the hard part; waiting.

To keep myself occupied, I keep a running commentary going. Interacting with whoever is watching the Livestream. Once word gets out, my audience grows like wildfire. I’m enjoying the brief notoriety till it gets tedious. My audience soon becomes bored with every day being the same.

Plenty of false alarms every night as small wildlife comes to the river to drink. I am tiring of staying up all day and night. October 31st can’t come soon enough. I’ve stopped shaving and bathing. Instead of talking to my audience, I’ve started talking to myself. I’m slowly going crazy out here.

Finally, Halloween is here. I’ve only one more night in this hellhole. I’m pretty sure I’ve completely debunked this myth. The sun sets, leaving me in darkness. The dim glow of the campfire keeps me company. My plan is to stay awake until midnight. I stare at the embers, completely mesmerized. It’s almost hypnotic.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I spot a dim floating light. Quickly my head turns, but the light disappears. Maybe it was a firefly? I struggle to see, as my eyesight is not completely adapted to the dark after staring at embers. Then I hear a branch breaking. The ghost is here!

My heart pounding, I hold my breath. A raccoon trundles toward my campfire. I let out my breath with a sigh of relief. Silly me, I’ve been in the woods for far too long. My imagination has run wild. There is no ghost, no hauntings. It is all a tall tale to scare people. I look at my watch and see it is after midnight. Shaking my head, I turn off the webcams and shut down the livestream.

Icy hands encircle my neck from behind. I knew instantly I had been horribly mistaken.

Want to be part of the Weekly Writing Challenge? Using the prompt above, write your story and publish it with a link to this story. Make sure you tag it either md-wwc or #md-wwc

Weekly Writing Challenge #23 – The Window

Prompt – Outside the window, you see something you can’t believe.

Finally a chance to sit back and relax with a hot cup of coffee. It had been a hectic day at work full of stress. Somehow I muddled through all the requests, demands and outright weirdness that encompasses my work day.

Sitting back on my favorite recliner I faced the fake fireplace with my flat screen TV over it. I picked up the remote and turned on the flames that soothed the savage beast inside me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see movement outside my window. I turn to look and see nothing amiss. Perhaps, as my wife would put it, I saw the ghost of someone I know. You can only see them out of the corner of your eye supposedly. I usually just smile and nod whenever she talks about ghosts. I don’t believe for one second there are ghosts.

Sipping my coffee, I flick my shoes off and lean back in the recliner putting the foot rest up. Again, I see something out of the corner of my eye. Maybe I should go get my eyes checked? I’ll have to put that down on my mental checklist. I turn slowly toward the window and I have to blink my eyes twice. I can’t believe what I see. A man dressed as a Samurai is standing on the street looking right at me. It’s too early for Halloween.

I put the foot rest down and lean forward in my chair getting ready to stand and the Samurai disappears. Confused I pause where I’m at. Could this be an optical illusion? Or am I going crazy? I slowly lean back keeping my eyes on the window. The Samurai doesn’t reappear and I sigh. Maybe I’m having a brain aneurism and it’s causing me to hallucinate. I start to call for my wife, but take another look at the window.

There! Not a Samurai, but a monkey dressed as an Indian riding what looks like an armadillo. Now I know I’m going crazy as it becomes a veritable parade of the weird and crazy. Pink spotted Giraffes with the face of my mother-in-law. A dancing coffee cup being chased by tiny army men. Not to mention the up side down naked lady riding a lawn mower.

Instead of being alarmed, I start to enjoy kooky parade. For some reason it calms me the more outlandish it gets. I look around the neighborhood, but no one else is around or looking through their windows. Then the parade ends with a black mist that seems to be growing and coming straight toward my window.

I cry out in horror! I try to get up out of my chair, but I’m frozen in place. My legs are kicking and my arms are flailing about to no end. The black mist reaches the window and then oozes through a tiny crack in the corner. I knew I should have fixed that. The black mist grows and seems to be getting solid. I’m frozen in fright.

As the apparition closes on me and everything goes dark, I scream!

My wife turns on the light and grabs my shoulder shaking me. I’m in my bed sitting up.

“Honey”, my wife gently says, “are you having another nightmare?”

Whew, what a relief! It was just a nightmare. Granted the strangest one I have ever had. I close my eyes in relief and start to lay back down in my bed.

A bright light flashes in my eyes. I hear voices indistinctly. The light goes away and I am back in darkness but I can hear the voices becoming clearer.

A man’s voice says, “I’m sorry, but your husband has no brain activity at all. The machines are the only thing keeping him alive. When you are ready, nod and we will shut everything down.”

I scream “NOOOOOOO!”

Want to be part of the Weekly Writing Challenge? Using the prompt above, write your story and publish it with a link to this story. Make sure you tag it either md-wwc or #md-wwc

Brandon Sanderson Lecture #7 – Short Stories with Mary Robinette Kowal

This video that introduced me to the world of Brandon Sanderson. I did a review of it earlier this year. You can find it here. This time around, I’m not going to do notes. Instead I’m going to attempt to write a short story using the guidelines that Mary sets forth. For each part of the story, she gives you just a few minutes to write it. Not much time at all, so I’ll have to be on my “A” game. No telling how good or bad the story will be, but it will be interesting to try it. I’ve set a timer on my phone for each part. Here goes:

Nick the engine jockey cursed under his breath at the weight of the diamond core engine he needed to tote to the star coaster engine bay.

Getting it down the ladder safely was going to be tricky. The anti-grav unit was on the fritz yet again, sparking angrily every time he tried to turn it on.

Nick grabbed a hoist and hooked it to the eyebolt over the ladder. Hooking the end of the chain to the engine, he pulled mightily to lift it. The engine lifted a few inches and then tipped over which is a very bad thing for a diamond core engine. He quickly set it back down on the deck and rolled it upright hoping he hadn’t damaged it.

In a fit of frustration, Nick kicked the anti-grav unit. As he was hopping in pain, the unit came online and lifted the engine. Hurriedly he unhooked the engine from the chain hoist and guided it down the ladder before the anti-grav unit conked out again. He set the engine in place and made the necessary connections. Closing his eyes and hoping the engine wasn’t damaged, he flicked the on switch.

The diagnostics startup flashed on the display screen. No faults! Nick was relieved and hoped that he would never have to replace the engine again.

This story was 219 words which is right in line with the guidance that Mary said we would be doing a 250 word story.

For a quickie story, it doesn’t look to bad to me. What do you think?

All lectures of Brandon Sanderson are now linked on the Storylines page if you wish to follow along in order.

Weekly Writing Challenge #18 – The Ladder

Prompt – Write a story or poem that uses ladders as a symbol

Photo by Lukas Hartmann on Pexels.com

Despair, hopelessness and the black abyss is where I’m at. Somehow I must climb out of this pit of agony or all is lost. Knowing this, I blindly search around for a quick fix. Belatedly, I realize there is no such thing. It’s going to take work, but where to start?

A small glimmer catches my eye. I’m afraid to go near it. I’ve started to become comfortable in the darkness. Maybe I should surrender and succumb to the void of death? The glimmer flickers and dims. Maybe I should keep on fighting? The glimmer brightens.

I take a small step toward the light. With each step it gets brighter until I can see a ladder. I’m starting to hope that I just maybe escape this prison of darkness I’m in. I tread carefully toward the ladder and see a single word appear before it.


My heart sinks. How can I believe when there is nothing but hatred within me? Do I cast away everything I’ve ever done? I might have to change and that is a scary thing to behold. The light starts to fade. The chasm between the ladder and me widens. It’s going to take a mighty leap to reach the ladder. It looks old and rickety, like it would fall apart as soon as I touched it.


The word brightens and glows. I can almost hear the word in my head. Am I going crazy? I’ve only believed in myself up until this point. How can I believe in a glowing word? I look back into the murky shadows that hurt but also comfort. I’m torn with indecision.


I hear the word echoing and the word is flashing brighter and brighter. I inch toward the ladder and the crevasse narrows. Tentatively I reach toward the first rung. Suddenly, I’m grasping the rung and everything grows sunny. My heart leaps in joy. Perhaps there is a solution.

Have Faith

The words twinkle just above the next rung. I’ve gone this far, I may as well continue. I peer at the rung and it looks hazy, almost as if I can look right through it. The rungs above it have faded away. I fear if I grab it, I’ll fall. Should I do as the words are somehow commanding me? My grip on the lowest rung is slipping.

Have Faith

I close my eyes and reach for the rung and clutch it. It feels solid. Opening my eyes, I see the ladder has extended into the clouds above me. I feel as if the weight of the world has fallen from my shoulders. Eagerly, I climb the ladder not knowing where I was heading, but sure that it had to be immensely better than where I had resided for much of my life. My heart sung with joy with each foot I climb. My fearfulness has left.

I climb.

Want to be part of the Weekly Writing Challenge? Using the prompt above, write your story and publish it with a link to this story. Make sure you tag it either md-wwc or #md-wwc

The Phone

“Hey let’s go down this street for a change, it’s only a block or two out of our way to work.”

“Brad? What’s going on with you?”

“I don’t know, Mary, just feel like walking somewhere new,” I said.

We walked along looking at the storefronts, I noticed a Cuban café. “Look there, maybe we ought to go there sometime.”

“Oooh, Cuban, I love their sandwiches. Oh wait, is that a phone on the sidewalk?”, Mary picked it up and said, “It looks like the same model you have.”

I checked my pockets and couldn’t find my phone. I snatched the phone out of Mary’s hand and entered my PIN number. It was mine! “How could that be?”

Ten Minutes Earlier

“Blanca, throw out the phone.”

“But why, Chico? It’s the newest model and I bet if we could break the PIN, we could get lot’s of money.”

“Are you stupid or what? They got advance trackers in that phone. We need to get rid of it before it’s too late. Just throw it on the sidewalk.”

Ten Minutes Earlier

I’ve always loved the first part of the day. The quietness of the store. The ritual of putting out the diamond rings and earrings. Owning a diamond store fulfilled me in a way that marriage had never done so. Just seeing my name on the storefront, Barclay Harrison Diamonds, always gave me a thrill. Unfortunately, my son didn’t feel the same way.

Turning the sign to open, I unlocked the door and had hardly taken a step when a masked man burst into the store with a gun. “DOWN ON THE GROUND, NOW!”

It’s not the first time I’ve been robbed, so I immediately lay down with my face to the floor. Insurance would cover most of my costs and I knew that was better than trying to be a hero and possibly get shot. I heard the robber grabbing rings, jewelry and watches. He was being professional as he was in and out in less than two minutes. I lay there for another minute and then got up and went around to the back of the counter and hit the silent alarm.

Thirty Minutes Earlier

I was getting a bit antsy, but told myself to keep cool. The man would be coming out of his brownstone apartment any minute now. I was told that he was very punctual and always left at 8:30 a.m. on the dot. I resisted the urge to look at my watch and slowly counted to ten. This always calmed me. The apartment door opened and I glanced at my watch and saw that it was 8:30. I started down the sidewalk toward the brownstone and did my classic bump and slipped out the man’s phone. “I’m sorry, I’m a bit clumsy today.”

He gave me an annoyed look and went on his way. I kept walking to the corner and made a left. There was the car as I had been instructed with it’s passenger window open a few inches by the curb. I slipped the phone in the car and went on my way. Easiest $100 I’ve ever earned.

Present Time

Brad was lost in thought, probably thinking about how he lost and then miraculously found his phone. We turned the corner and saw at least three police cruisers with their lights flashing. “Brad, is that your father’s store?”

“Oh my gosh, it is!”, Brad took off running as I tried to keep up in my high heels.

The policeman held up his hand toward Brad and me.

“That’s my father’s store, Mary and I work there.”

After establishing our identities and having Mr. Harrison confirm that we work there, the police finally let us into the store. It looked like a smash and grab robbery had happened.

We introduced ourselves to Detective Gomez.

“As I was saying to your father, our computer IT guy is tracking phones that came into the store at the time of the robbery. Seems the robber was carrying one of the new models that we can track.”

“Um, this is strange.”

“What’s that Harry?”, said Gomez.

“The phone id that came into the store for two minutes left and went around the block and then stopped for 10 minutes. At the rate of speed, it looked like it was in a car. Then it started moving again at a walking pace and re-entered the store just a few minutes ago.”

In a flash, I realized what had happened to Brad’s phone. “Hey, the robber had your phone and then dropped it off in front of the Cuban place where we found it. That is so weird.”

Detective Gomez grilled us on what we had been doing for the last hour and after establishing our alibis, he shook his head and said, “Looks like a pretty sophisticated robbery after all. They were trying to frame Brad Harrison. I wonder if it was a coincidence that they stole your phone or if you were just a random person.”

Later That Evening

I met Chico at the Cuban restaurant. He was waiting calmly in the back by the kitchen. I slid into the booth and nodded at him. “You did good, the cops don’t suspect a thing.”

Chico slid a duffle bag toward me with his feet. As I had instructed, he had left the zipper open. I casually reached down and opened the bag just enough to see the diamonds. Zipping it back up, I reached into my suit pocket and slid an envelope towards him.

Chico picked up the envelope and briefly looked inside. “I think I should be getting a lot more than this. Those rocks are worth way more than five G’s.”

“One, you would only get pennies for the diamonds if you tried to fence them. Two, by now every pawnbroker in town is on the lookout for these diamonds and you would be arrested. Trust me, you are getting way more than you would any other way.”

Chico stared at me with his steely black eyes. I stared right back at him. He finally nodded and said, “Okay, but this was the weirdest robbery I’ve ever been involved in. What was up with the phone thing?”

I laughed, “Don’t worry about it. Just know it was an important part of the heist. It’s the one thing that is keeping the suspicion off of me.”

I turned and signaled the waitress for two Cuban coffees.

“Hey, my girlfriend is waiting for me, I’m going to pass on the coffee if you don’t mind.”

I nodded and Chico left. As I sipped my coffee, I felt an immense sense of pleasure. I had gotten away with a million dollars in diamonds.

Then Detective Gomez slid into the booth where Chico had been. I opened my mouth in shock. He put a tape recorder on the table and pressed play. It was the conversation I had just had with Chico.

“Mr. Brad Harrison, you are under arrest for the robbery of your father’s store.”

NOTE: I listened to a podcast on reverse plots this morning and thought that it was a neat idea. This is my first attempt at this style. How did I do?

Weekly Writing Challenge #8 – With Feeling

Prompt – Today seemed like the perfect day, until …

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

“Today seemed like the perfect day, until the alien spaceship appeared.”

“CUT, no, no, we are not doing sci-fi and especially not invasion of aliens. That has been done so many times, it’s too predictable. Try again.”

“Today seemed like the perfect day, until an evil leprechaun appeared…”

“CUT! What the hell? Are you making fun of me because I’m vertically challenged?”

“No, of course not,” I said sarcastically.

“Well, no fantasy stories either. That includes werewolves, vampires, monsters and definitely no short jokes. Try to be original.”

“Today seemed like the perfect day, until my two exes jumped into my car with my wife and …”

“CUT! CUT! Are you kidding me? A romance story where three girls gang up on a guy? You don’t even know how to do romance stories properly. You’ll just embarrass both of us. Come on, dig deep and give me something to work with.”‘


“Today seemed like the perfect day, until marshmallows started dropping from the sky…”

“Oh my GAWD! You’re killing me. That’s just a crappy remake of a animated Disney film. For seven weeks you’ve done great. Now it’s like you have completely forgotten how to write. These prompts aren’t going to write themselves, you know. Dig really deep and let’s get this story going.”

“Aaargh”, pulling my hair out in frustration. “Okay, I think I got it this time.”

“Today seemed like the perfect day, until the earth started shaking…”

“Whoa! A natural disaster story? Like that hasn’t been done to death. You are really disappointing me right now. You want to be a writer? Then start writing something that is interesting for a change, not a train wreck of a story. So far you have written nothing but dreck!”

“Today seemed like the perfect day, until I saw the hitchhiker…”

“Seriously? Seriously? I know you can do better then this.”

“Today seemed like the perfect day, until my inner voice started messing with me and making me doubt I could write. I don’t know how I’m going to get back at him, but I’m about to unleash the seven holy hells on him.”

“Yes! That’s it. Now you got it. I like the way you are thinking right now. You just need to write with more feeling. Now give it all you can. WITH FEELING!”

Want to be part of the Weekly Writing Challenge? Using the prompt above, write your story and publish it with a link to this story. Make sure you tag it either md-wwc or #md-wwc